Overall Record: 2-4-0, 0-0-0 C-USA Record Last Week: 1-0-0, 0-0-0 C-USA Recent Results Friday, Sept. 14 - won at No. 18 Louisville, 1-0
Upcoming Schedule (times eastern) Wednesday, Sept. 19 - vs. East Tennessee State - 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 - at Evansville - 8 p.m.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE R-Jr., GK, Jack Van Arsdale (Richmond, Va.) NOTES: Junior keeper Jack Van Arsdale turned in the best game of his career in leading the Wildcats to a thrilling 1-0 win at No. 18 Louisville on Friday night in front of 5,583 at Cardinal Park - the most fans to ever witness a UK men's soccer game ... A native of Richmond, Va., Van Arsdale saved a career-high six shots in his first career clean sheet ... Among his remarkable saves in an electric atmosphere, Van Arsdale thwarted a breakaway with a kick save, extending his right leg out to narrowly stop a scoring chance ... His performance helped UK post its first win at Louisville since 2004 ... The transfer from Virginia Commonwealth saved shots in the ninth, 22nd, 36th, 47th, 72nd and 83rd minutes ... On the year, Van Arsdale has started in three games and played in four, owning a 1.12 goals-against average in 320 minutes with 15 saves ... In his two-year UK career, Van Arsdale has a 1.47 goals-against average in seven games, with 21 saves. "Jack you could see in him today that he made up his mind he was going to keep a clean sheet," UK head coach Johan Cedergren said of Van Arsdale's outing. "To come in here at Louisville to keep a clean sheet is a fantastic feeling." ... "Jack kept us in the game," UK senior co-captain Matt Lodge said. "He must have made about 10 saves in the second half. Credit the back four as well, Stevie (Perinovic), Dylan, Speed and Kemper they all played really good tonight."
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE Sr., MF, Matt Lodge (Rossington, England) NOTES: Senior midfielder Matt Lodge netted one of the biggest goals of his decorated career in leading UK to a monumental 1-0 win at No. 18 Louisville on Friday night ... Lodge's third goal of the year came in the 38th minute at UofL, in front of the largest crowd to ever watch a UK men's soccer game, 5,583 fans at Cardinal Park ... His tally was a gorgeous strike on a free-kick opportunity from just outside of the 18-yard box, bending it around the wall and past the diving keeper at the far post ... The goal was Lodge's 20th career, ranking his sixth-best in UK annals ... He also ranks sixth in UK career history with his 55 points, adding 15 assists in his 59 career games.
TEAM NOTES The Kentucky men's soccer team continued its stiff schedule to open up the non-conference season, traveling to No. 18 Louisville and springing a thrilling 1-0 win on Friday in front of 5,583 fans at an electric Cardinal Park, the largest crowd to ever witness a UK soccer game. UK will return to action on Wednesday, hosting East Tennessee State at 7 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (2-4-0) faced its fourth ranked foe in the first six games of 2012 on Friday night in an intense, rivalry atmosphere in the Derby City. The Wildcats struck for a free-kick goal on the boot of senior midfielder Matt Lodge in the 38th minute and used a heroic defensive effort from goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale, defenders Steven Perinovic, Jacob Speed, Dylan Asher and Jacob Kemper, with midfielder Cameron Wilder also starring in the winning effort.
The win for UK was its first at Louisville since 2004 and snapped a three-game winning streak in the series for the Cardinals, the 2010 NCAA College Cup runner-up. UK owns a 10-5-4 all-time record against the Big East power Cardinals, including a 6-1-2 record in Louisville, and the win was UK's first over a top-25 foe since a 5-1 smashing over No. 15 Brown in 2011.
Lodge continued to move up the record books with his goal on Friday night, giving him 20 goals, 15 assists and 55 points in his career, ranking sixth in UK history in goals and points.
On the year, UK has eight goals in six games, owning 11.5 shots per game and a 42-33 advantage in corner kicks. Lodge leads UK with three goals, while Tyler Riggs has two goals and one assist and Charley Pettys has two goals. Freshman Bryan Celis has added UK's other goal, while freshman Kristoffer Tollefsen paces the club with two assists. Kemper and freshman Jacob Scearce each have an assist. In goal, Van Arsdale has a 1.12 goals-against average in four games, recording 15 saves. Freshman Callum Irving has seven saves and one clean sheet in three games, sporting a 2.00 goals-against average.
UK will return to the UK Soccer Complex on Wednesday for a matchup with East Tennessee State at 7 p.m. ET. The Wildcats will conclude the week with a Saturday night trip to Evansville to face the Purple Aces at 8 p.m. ET.
Behind Jack Van Arsdale's shutout and a free-kick goal by Matt Lodge, UK defeated Louisville 1-0 on Friday night at Cardinal Park. (Aaron Borton, UK Athletics)
LOUISVILLE -- Dropping one-goal decisions to Dayton, Northwestern, St. John's and Charlotte in the first five games of the season would deflate a lot of team's confidence going forward through the season. Going into Louisville to play the No. 18 Cardinals in front of 5,583 fans in attendance could've spelled disaster to start the season.
Instead, the men's soccer Wildcats put the past behind them, went into Cardinal Park and shocked nationally ranked Louisville, 1-0. It was a much-needed win for the Wildcats after opening up the 2012 season with a 1-4 record.
Kentucky's record was deceiving coming into the game though. The Cats had played three ranked foes through their first five games and competed to the last whistle in every one of them. Louisville showed off its talent and firepower, but in the end it was the team with the heart, belief, confidence and desire to win that came out on top - the Kentucky Wildcats.
UK head coach Johan Cedergren was quoted as saying this was a chance for his team to make a statement. Entering a house that was packed with thousands of U of L screaming fans and in-state pride on the line, the Wildcats played toe to toe with one of the top teams in the country.
"I couldn't be any more excited for the guys, this is a huge game for us," Cedergren said. "I think for Louisville, maybe it's just one game because they have been there and done that. For us we are trying to make little steps every game. We were really good in training this week and overall I thought it was a good defensive performance. We have talked about the back four before and it was good to see them come up and save us. The back four and (goalkeeper) Jack Van Arsdale had a fantastic game."
Senior Matt Lodge got the Cats on the board in the 38th minute on a free kick from about 20 yards out. It gave UK a huge boost going into halftime with a lead and it was extra special coming from a senior who has fought his whole career trying to beat the rivals.
Lodge's kick bent right around the wall formed by U of L defenders and snuck right inside the left post. That feeling basketball players get when the ball leaves their hand and they know it's going in; that's exactly what Lodge felt as he attempted the free kick.
"It felt amazing," Lodge said. "Best feeling I've ever had. The stadium was full and give credit to Louisville and UK fans as they turned out in full force. As soon as I kicked it I knew it was going in and I just wanted to go over to my teammates and celebrate."
Van Arsdale stepped up huge for UK and made sure the lead held up. All game, especially in the second half, the Cardinals kept attacking and wouldn't go away. It seemed like every possession they had in the second half they had a shot at equalizing the match.
Van Arsdale thought differently. He recorded six saves on the night and it seemed like 20. Louisville created multiple, crafty set pieces that probably should have found the back of the net numerous times, but Van Arsdale came up with a big-time save every time.
"It's easy when you are engaged the entire game and that's what I was," Van Arsdale said. "Saves right from the beginning, saves at the end, my teammates helped me out a lot by blocking a lot of shots and winning a lot of headers for me. All around it was a great team effort."
The Wildcats led Northwestern 1-0 going into halftime at the Gamecock Classic before surrendering two goals in the second half to the 25th-ranked Wildcats. At times it looked as though Louisville would eventually tie the game and maybe deja vu would strike.
Kentucky grinded down and stuck together throughout the second half to hold off the Cards. This may have been what the Cats needed to get over the hump and give them that extra boost of confidence heading towards conference play.
It's hard not to think about the previous hiccups in the season and had Cedergren even scoreboard watching at the time.
"For the last 25 minutes, I kept looking back over at the clock and it seemed like it was going so slow," Cedergren said. "It's good and I think it shows what kind of team spirit we have that the guys will not stop fighting. We were 0-3 and 1-4 and its easy for the seniors to say it's not going to happen this year. We were really sharp in training this week and you could just see how much it mattered to them today in the game. They were diving around and doing everything they could to protect the goal. It was a huge effort and huge credit to our team."
Going on the road and defeating a nationally ranked opponent is always a huge boost to a team. Beating your rival puts icing on the cake. The Wildcats can take the momentum from this game and use it towards the rest of the season. The Cats were waiting for a moment like this and this may be the game puts Cedergren's squad on the path to turning the corner for good.
Next up, the Wildcats take on East Tennessee on Wednesday, Sept. 19. UK has to build on this and stay humble. The focus will quickly return to what it has been all season: improving daily.
"Every game and every training we want to become better and we did that tonight," Cedergren said. "But we can't become big-headed because we have a game again in a couple of days. We are training tomorrow and I think tomorrow will be good to maybe knock them down to get them ready again. In general, to be able to play in front of a crowd like this, in front of this quality of a team like Louisville, to be able to come away with a win will serve really big for our confidence moving forward."
Perinovic was named to the Kentucky Invitational All-Tournament team. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
A shutout on Friday against St. Joseph's, allowing one shot on goal to No. 4 ranked Charlotte on Sunday, the University of Kentucky men's soccer team looks like a completely different defensive unit from the opening game of the season when they surrendered four goals against Dayton.
The Wildcats dominated St. Joe's with a 20-2 shot advantage and freshman goal keeper Callum Irving posted the first shutout of his young career in a 2-0 victory, giving UK and first-year head coach Johan Cedergren their first win of the season.
Although Kentucky came up short in a 1-0 defeat against Charlotte, the defense looked very sharp in the match. The Wildcats limited the offensive attack of the 49ers to just one shot on goal, which happened to find the back of the net.
After allowing eight goals through the first three games, Cedergren is pleased with the strides the defense is making and feels the team is ready to breakout.
"This week in training we have focused again on how to defend better and how to work on the back four as a unit," Cedergren said. "Every training and game we want to get better, that's my number one goal. I think so far we are. It's unfortunate we are 1-4 but I think we are going in the right direction and I think we are going to pop real soon. They are working hard and that's all we can ask for."
UK has had a tough schedule to open the season to say the least. Through the first five games, the squad has faced three ranked foes and has a huge test on Friday against rival No. 22 Louisville.
The Wildcats allowed four goals against Dayton, and two to both Northwestern and St. John's, who are very good teams with good offenses. The Cats may have allowed a few goals this season that could have been prevented but the defense is not letting it get to them and they are working hard to get better every day.
"You can see the emphasis we put on that unit and how they are gelling and are really growing together," Cedergren said. "You have to give them some credit as well because it's easy for your head to go down when you are not having success and things are not going your way. They know that they have been at fault for some of the goals. They come and are very motivated in training and work really hard and don't shy away from knowing they have caused some goals."
Junior defender Steven Perinovic was named to the Kentucky Invitational All-Tournament team after an impressive display last weekend. The Delafield, Wisc., native was a big contributor to the shutout effort against St. Joe's and gave Charlotte all kinds of problems on their attacks. Perinovic's athleticism makes him a valuable asset to the team and Cedergren expects to see more out of him than just on defense.
Freshman Jacob Speed is another defender that has shown improvement over the last couple of weeks and he and Perinovic are starting to click.
"I think they are both very good center backs and they play well together," Cedergren said. "Steven is a fantastic player in the air, there aren't a lot of headers he will lose and he loves to tackle. Jacob is really tall and I think he is still growing into his frame as a freshman. Together I think it's a very good pairing. Steven had two good games this weekend and we are hoping we can get some offensive production from him on set pieces because he is so good in the air. They are great kids, great leaders and want the team to do well."
UK plays with four defenders on the backline, which means two other Wildcats have had to step up this season on defense. Seniors Jacob Kemper and Charley Pettys have filled the roles and are getting better every time they see action, whether it be on the practice field or in games.
While Kemper and Pettys are primarily defenders, Cedergren brings an offense style that encourages outside backs to become attacking midfielders at times. This gives the offense another dynamic and allows Kemper and Pettys to play both sides of the ball.
Like the rest of the team, Cedergren sees positive signs they are making the turn and will play a vital role in the team's success the rest of the year.
"I think they are doing great, because in our system, the way we play, the fullbacks are our midfielders and we want to play out through them," Cedergren said. "The player with the most completed passes on Friday was Jacob Kemper. That shows you when you take an attack-minded player and you convert them to a defender and you can use his positive attributes to help you play out.
"I think Charlie is the same, where he is a good passer, he's good at dribbling so when we need to play through those two guys they are doing really well. They are seniors and they are both committed to Kentucky and really want to have one good year before they leave. Every day in practice they try to get better and they try to get the rest of the guys to get better as well."
Friday marks a huge game for the Cats as they travel to Louisville to face the nationally ranked Cardinals. U of L is one of seven teams on the Wildcats' grueling schedule ranked in the top 25.
Rivalry games always give players and coaches that extra motivation to get pumped up. A game like this might be just what Kentucky needs to turn the corner. If the Cats can pull off the upset, it would give the team a major boost and an extra sense of confidence. Cedergren likes the opportunity to go to Louisville and see what his team is made of. This is a chance for his team to play in a big moment, in front of a large crowd and could help the Cats heading into conference play.
"With us being 1-4, them being in the top 25 and in front of 6,000 fans is a wonderful opportunity to make a statement," Cedergren said. "I think that's what we ask for. I don't see us at all being outmatched, or out powered or out fought. I think we are ready, we are organized and we have abilities on the ball so I think it's going to be a great game tomorrow."
Football - The Kentucky football team won its third consecutive home opener, defeating Kent State 47-14 on Saturday. - Kentucky had a strong all-around performance in the game, racking up 539 yards of total offense, including 354 passing yards - which was the most for a UK offense since a 430-yard outburst against Tennessee in 2007. - Sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith threw for all 354 yards, including finding senior wide receiver Aaron Boyd 11 times for 100 yards - both career highs for Boyd. Junior tailback Raymond Sanders had a career night with 13 rushes for 115 yards and touchdown, including a 67-yard burst to the end zone. - Defensively, Kentucky recorded its first safety since the 2009 season while also stopping Kent State from scoring all three times they entered the redzone. The UK defense, which forced and recovered a fumble in the game, ended the contest with three sacks, six tackles for loss and six pass breakups. Volleyball - The Kentucky volleyball team capped off non-conference action against its toughest competition of the season at the Ameritas Players Challenge on the campus of the University of Nebraska. UK earned a win over Duquesne, before suffering heart-wrenching four-set losses to Oklahoma, a team receiving votes in the latest poll, and No. 1 Nebraska on its home floor. - Senior Ashley Frazier was simply sensational against the Huskers with a career-high tying and match-high 20 kill performance on a sizzling .459 hitting percentage. - Freshman setter Morgan Bergren had a coming-out party of sorts against the Huskers in front of 4,163 fans as she recorded her first career double-double effort with a UK single-match high 47 assists and 10 digs. She also added career-high marks with four kills and five blocks. - In the victory over Duquesne it was the middle blockers who shined as the duo of junior Alexandra Morgan and freshman Sara Schwarzwalder combined for 20 kills with no errors. Morgan's defensive presence continues to aid the Wildcat cause as the junior turned back 19 opponent attacks in 11 sets for a blistering 1.73 rejections per frame.
Women's soccer - Kentucky opened its road portion of the schedule with a dramatic 2-0 upset of No. 12 Louisville on the road at Cardinal Park Friday night. - Junior Kayla King was inserted into the game in the opening minutes, and recorded six saves, keeping a clean sheet and saving a penalty kick late in the game which would have tied the score at 1-1. - Freshman Cailin Harris scored UK's lone goal in a 3-1 loss to Samford. Harris, Arin Gilliland and Kayla King were named to the Cardinal Classic All-Tournament Team. - UK returns home Friday night for its Southeastern Conference opener against No. 24 Florida Friday night, with a Sunday matchup vs. undefeated Mississippi State.
Men's soccer - The Kentucky men's soccer team finished second at its invitational tournament over the weekend, picking up a 2-0 win over St. Joe's and falling to No. 4 Charlotte on Sunday, 1-0. - Kentucky has played an extremely grueling schedule to open the 2012 season, as the Wildcats have played three top-25 foes in their first five matches. UK entered the matchup with Charlotte, the 2011 NCAA runners-up, fresh off a dominating 2-0 win over St. Joseph's in its home opener on Friday night. - UK finished second in the 2012 UKIT with the loss, as the high-octane 49ers claimed the championship, Stony Brook third place and St. Joe's fourth. - UK freshman midfielder Bryan Celis - who scored his first career goal on Friday - junior defender Steven Perinovic and junior forward Tyler Riggs were selected to the UKIT All-Tournament team by the UK coaching staff. Upcoming schedule Monday, Sept. 10 Men's tennis at Southern Intercollegiate (Athens, Ga.) Women's golf at Old Waverly Bulldog Invite (West Point, Miss.) Tuesday, Sept. 11 Women's golf at Old Waverly Bulldog Invite (West Point, Miss.)
Wednesday, Sept. 12 Women's golf at Old Waverly Bulldog Invite (West Point, Miss.)
Friday, Sept. 14 Men's soccer at Louisville - 7:00 p.m. Women's soccer hosts Florida - 7:00 p.m. Men's tennis at Duke Invitational (Cary, N.C.)/ Illinois Invitational (Chicago) Women's tennis at Muirfield Village Invitational (Muirfield, Ohio)
Saturday, Sept. 15 Football hosts Western Kentucky - 7:00 p.m. Men's golf at Wolf Run Invite (Zionsville, Ind.) Men's tennis at Duke Invitational (Cary, N.C.)/ Illinois Invitational (Chicago) Women's tennis at Muirfield Village Invitational (Muirfield, Ohio) Sunday, Sept. 16 Volleyball hosts Florida - 1:00 p.m. Women's soccer hosts Mississippi State - 1:00 p.m. Men's golf at Wolf Run Invite (Zionsville, Ind.) Men's tennis at Duke Invitational (Cary, N.C.)/ Illinois Invitational (Chicago) Women's tennis at Muirfield Village Invitational (Muirfield, Ohio)
Cameron Wilder (left) and Matt Lodge (right) helped lead UK to the first win of Johan Cedergren's tenure on Friday night. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)
The University of Kentucky men's soccer team dominated the entire first half Friday evening against St. Joseph's but found itself locked in a scoreless tie going into intermission.
The Wildcats sprinted out of the gates with intensity and dominated possession of the ball for the first 45 minutes. UK outshot the Hawks 11-1, including a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks but struggled to find the back of the net.
As the teams jogged off the field and headed into their respective locker rooms, the Cats looked up at the scoreboard and saw a resemblance to a prior game they had played this year.
In the opening game of the season, Kentucky and Dayton were all knotted up at 0-0 after the first stanza. The squads exploded in the second half, scoring seven combined goals before the Cats eventually came up short in the contest, 4-3.
Head coach Johan Cedergren was not going to let his team forget about that defeat.
"I think we went into the half just like Dayton feeling pretty good about ourselves," Cedergren said. "I just said 'We don't want to leave this game feeling the same way we did at Dayton, so let's make sure we stay nice and solid in the back and slowly but surely we are going to wear them down with key passing.' "
Sure enough, Kentucky responded by scoring two second half goals and posting its first shutout of the season, earning Cedergren his first career victory in UK blue, 2-0.
The offense got a spark off the bench from freshmen Jacob Scearce and Bryan Celis. The two showed their energy right away, flying to the ball and wrecking havoc on St. Joe's.
After multiple shot attempts were denied midway through the second half, Celis made a pretty touch pass to Scearce in the box, who found the back of the net for his first career goal, giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the 71st minute of the match.
"I really didn't know what to do with the ball at first," Scearce said. "I saw Celis making a great run to the right side of me and I just back heeled it. He made a great touch on the ball and I finished it from there."
Scearce and Celis did not shy away from the moment. They got their call from the bench and attacked the Hawks defense. That type of aggressive play is exactly what Cedergren is looking for out of his young freshmen.
"The two of them played today how we want freshmen to play," Cedergren said. "You don't come in and let the game come to you, you come in and grab the game. You say, 'I'm going to impose myself on the other team,' and they both did that today."
Senior Charlie Pettys gave the Wildcats a bit of a cushion in the 88th minute, as he fired a shot from about 25 yards out that just made it by the keeper's outstretched hand for a 2-0 lead.
Friday evening marked the first home game of the season for Kentucky and the Cats provided the fans with an offensive performance that should see them return for a showdown against No. 4 Charlotte on Sunday.
Every win is important, but after falling short by one goal in their first three games, this victory was a must for the Cats heading into Sunday.
"It means a lot," Cedergren said. "The guys have worked really hard this week and we are so excited to get the first win at home. We were so close in the first three games and to get a shutout really gives us a boost. Now we can go in and really be on our toes and play a really good team in Charlotte on Sunday."
The Cats outshot the Hawks 20-2 in the match but the defensive effort shouldn't be overlooked. After surrendering eight goals in the first three games of the season, Kentucky's back four played a tremendous 90 minutes.
Freshman goalkeeper Callum Irving was back in goal for the second time this year after making his first career start against Dayton. Irving flipped the script from two weeks ago, turning in an outstanding performance and providing the team with a much-needed solid defensive effort.
The back four of the defense looked in sync tonight and is improving every game according to Cedergren.
"Steven Perinovic deserves a lot of credit," Cedergren said. "Steven is a great guy and works so hard in practice. He's not the most vocal but he really cares and I think that Steven and Jacob Speed are really good players and are starting to figure each other out. Jacob Kemper, a former forward, and Charlie Pettys, a former center midfielder, I think are getting better every game. I think the back four are slowly but surely getting where we want to get."
UK clicked on all cylinders tonight and was able to add the second goal late to run away from St. Joe's. Scoring the second goal was big for the Cats after they had squandered a 1-0 lead against Northwestern last weekend.
The Wildcats have learned several lessons early this season that perhaps will make them a more mature team heading into conference play. The team looked poised and showed a desire to win.
"We've got a lot of guys that are really good on the ball but its just being able to take a two goal advantage," Cedergren said. "Charlie, as a senior, used an opportunity to advance us and he made a great shot. Tonight we showed are passion and what it means to us to win."
Norway native Kristoffer Tollefsen is in his freshman season as a member of the UK men's soccer team. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
Going from one state to another can be a difficult process, but moving to a different country is another thing entirely. University of Kentucky freshman soccer player Kristoffer Tollefsen is currently going through that transition.
The Sandefjord, Norway native moved to the United States this summer after being recruited by head coach Johan Cedergren, who discovered Tollefsen through a contact he has in Scandinavia. The first-year head coach watched some video on Tollefsen and liked what he saw, so he planned a trip and flew overseas to meet with Tollefsen and his family.
After sitting down with the Tollefsen's, Cedergren found the family to be very humble with an athletic background. Tollefsen's father was a former professional handball player and was a member of the Norway national team. The visit turned out to be a major success for Cedergren.
The transition has gone surprisingly well for the freshman midfielder. Tollefsen was fortunate enough to be joined by fellow Norwegian Isak Krogstad, who is a freshman forward on the squad, which helped make it a smooth process.
"The adjustment has gone well, surprisingly well actually," Tollefsen said. "Definitely having Isak around has been a big help. We actually just started talking English to each other. Both of us are learning the language better and I actually did my first load of laundry a couple weeks ago so I think things are going great."
Cedergren agrees that having Krogstad around is helping Tollefsen become more comfortable at Kentucky. One thing Cedergren wants his players to know is that he is always there for them if they ever need anything.
"I think it's never a bad thing to have two kids from the same country where the two of them can share stories with each other in Norwegian and relate to each other," Cedergren said. "What I've told both of them is that I'm expecting a lot of them while they are here for four years and like every other player my door is always open and if they have any issues they can come see me."
Soccer isn't the only commitment Tollefsen has on his plate. Academics play a large role in a student-athlete's schedule and Cedergren is particularly adamant his athletes stay on top of their studies.
It can be very overwhelming with all of the scheduling, especially for an international student. That's where help is needed and the academic advisor for men's soccer, Mike Haley, has done a tremendous job guiding Tollefsen through the process.
"Someone you have to give credit to is Mike Haley, our academic advisor, who is fantastic in terms of getting their schedule set up and tutors," Cedergren said. "That is one of the worries you have with internationals but Mike is great and he makes sure all of the guys do their assignments and get their schedules squared away."
Tollefsen has sprinted out of the gates through his first three games as a Wildcat, starting every game and leading the team with two assists. Standing at six feet tall, Tollefsen owns an advantage over opponents with his height, which allows him to win most headers.
His play on the ball and his knowledge of the game are what stand out to the coaching staff and his teammates. He brings a style of play that makes the offense flow and stiffen the defense.
"He helps us defensively and offensively in the center mid and never really loses the ball which keeps things going for us," senior midfielder Cameron Wilder said. "He's doing a great job and makes really good decisions. He's one of those players that's always trying to make himself better in training."
This weekend, the Cats play host to the UK Invitational where No. 4 Charlotte, St. Joseph's and Stony Brook will join them. Kentucky will face St. Joseph's on Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the UK Soccer Complex.
The match will mark the first home game for Tollefsen and the rest of the Cats, who are seeking their first victory of the season. Tollefsen is eager to play in front of the UK fans and he feels the team is playing well and a win is on the horizon.
"I'm looking forward to playing on the fantastic field we have and in front of the fans," Tollefsen said. "I think we have played some good soccer and we just have to get 90 minutes together now to get a win because we need a win. There is nothing about the talent in the group, we are playing some good soccer so we just have to get it together for 90 minutes."
Overall, UK has been a smooth transition for Tollefsen. He is continuing to get adjusted to the weather and meeting new people but that will come with time. He is a hard worker and fits right into Cedergren's coaching style.
"It's been very good here," Tollefsen said. "His help since I got here has been great. His training is hard and tough but I like it that way and I think we have to train that hard. I'm getting used to the heat and the players and making new friends and its going great."